Dow Futures Higher with Trade, Economic Data In Focus

There are a number of big economic reports to digest today, too

Mar 15, 2018 at 9:10 AM
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U.S. stock futures are trading mixed this morning. Trade war fears are likely to stay front and center on Wall Street, with Larry Kudlow -- the White House chief economic adviser appointee -- saying "China needs a comeuppance on trade." It's also setting up to be another big day for economic data, as traders this morning already respond to a modest drop in weekly jobless claims, which matched expectations, as well as a bigger-than-expected rise in February import prices. While the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are signaling a positive open, Nasdaq-100 (NDX) futures are trading below fair value.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • 2 of yesterday's biggest stock moves.
  • With Qualcomm in the rear view, options traders take aim at Broadcom earnings.
  • Why RBC analysts think Nvidia stock can reach new highs.
  • Plus, analysts expect another strong Adobe report; Dollar General jumps; and DDD shares eye a rally.

stocks today

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 866,506 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 597,685 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio moved up to 0.69, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.61. 
  2. Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) is set to report earnings after the close tonight, and Barclays boosted its price target on the stock to $250 from $221 ahead of the event. ADBE shares just hit a record high of $224.90 two days ago, and are up 80% year-over-year. Back in January, analysts suggested the the company could put its cash to use after it gave an impressive full-year outlook.
  3. Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) is pointed 7.3% higher in pre-market action following the company's fourth-quarter update. The discount retailer reported a 3.3% increase in same-store sales, along with a strong full-year outlook. This follows last week's disappointing earnings report from rival Dollar Tree (DLTR).
  4. 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) is also set to jump after earnings, trading 9.5% higher before the open. The 3-D printing firm beat on the top and bottom lines, resulting in price-target hikes to $12 and $10 from Stifel and Piper Jaffray, respectively. However, DDD shares closed at $12.15 yesterday, above the aforementioned price targets.
  5. The Philadelphia Fed business outlook fell to 22.3 in March, while the Empire State manufacturing survey rose to 22.5. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) housing market index is due mid-morning. Jabil (JBL), Ulta Beauty (ULTA), and Zumiez (ZUMZ) will report earnings.

stock market news march 15

Earnings Lift European Markets

Asian markets were cautiously higher today, but gains were limited after the White House said Wednesday it has asked China to slash its trade surplus with the U.S. by $100 billion -- considerably higher than the $1 billion amount cited by President Trump on Twitter last week. China's Shanghai Composite closed just fractionally higher as a result, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.3% thanks to a solid day in the financial sector. Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei gained 0.1%, despite the yen's advance against a slipping dollar. Lastly, South Korea's Kospi added 0.3%.

Stocks in Europe are pointed higher at midday, thanks to upbeat corporate earnings from German insurer Munich Re, up 1.5% after raising its profit forecast and announcing job cuts, and Italian peer Generali, which has gained 1.7% on the heels of a dividend hike. At last check, the German DAX is up 0.3%. The French CAC 40 also sports a 0.3% lead, despite a 2.8% drop for Societe Generale following the surprise departure of deputy CEO Didier Valet. London's FTSE 100 is up 0.1%, with geopolitical tensions still in focus after Prime Minister Theresa May said the U.K. will introduce Moscow-targeted legislation modeled after the U.S. Magnitsky Act.

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